The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to double a reward—to $20,000—for information that helps locate a Littlerock mother who went missing more than a year ago and is presumed dead.
Supervisor Don Knabe recommended upping the reward, which had been set to expire Aug. 28.
Monique Figueroa, the 28-year-old mother of a 2-year-old daughter, was last seen driving away from her home in the 7200 block of East Avenue U-12 around 4 a.m. on May 19, 2015, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Her car, a 2004 Mercedes-Benz, was recovered 12 days later in an abandoned shed in Juniper Hills. There was no sign of Figueroa, but there were signs of foul play inside the car, according to Deputy Lillian Peck.
The woman had left her 2-year-old daughter in the care of her family, who reported her missing several days after she left home.
Jeff Figueroa told ABC7 the day after his daughter’s car was found that her boyfriend had been recently arrested in a murder case and she was known to hang out with gang members. He said he believed some of those acquaintances feared she would become a witness against them.
Her father begged her captors to free her and told the station that he received a text from his daughter the day after she vanished, saying, “`Had to leave; love you; be back soon.”
Investigators questioned people Figueroa had contact with and checked her cell phone and bank records for clues. But Knabe said there was no trail of cell phone or credit card use following her disappearance.
Homicide investigators received a tip earlier this year that Figueroa’s remains might be buried off the 11000 block of Pearblossom Highway in Palmdale.
But a search by detectives, cadaver scent dogs and coroner’s personnel did not yield results.
Knabe asked anyone with more information to call sheriff’s Detective Karen Shonka at (323) 890-5621, or Detective Wayne Holston, (323) 574-2437.